The second annual senior assassin games have begun, which means it’s time to get backstabbing. Load your nerf guns, stalk your targets, and keep to yourself. Friendships will be tried and tested. Alliances will be betrayed. Wilton High School is growing more unstable with each successfully aimed foam dart. No one is safe.

Last year, the class of 2019 set a monumental precedent. They founded senior assassin, a game soon to become a long-standing Wilton tradition. This year, the class of 2020 organized another epic senior showdown, pitting students against one another in pursuit of a $600 prize pool, and of course, sweet sweet victory. Once given their targets, seniors take all necessary measures to take them down. With 200 registered participants and an impressive four-page rulebook, this year’s games are off to a powerful start.

The rules are essentially identical to the ones adopted by last year’s graduates, with a few exceptions. Silly String has been added to the list of approved weapons, although most people opt for the nerf gun, a classic and reliable option. In addition, this year’s organizers have implemented “duels” to settle any disputes or questionable assassinations. Whoever gets shot first after the standard 10 paces loses, either suffering elimination or being sent back to square one (the consequences differ from target to assassin). Otherwise, the rules are simple: no “kills” at school before 4 p.m., during the target’s work or volunteer shift, or while either party is operating a motor vehicle, no trespassing, and of course, secure your evidence.

The game officially began on Feb. 4t, and by 10 p.m., six kills had already been reported. Since then, the WHS Senior Assassin instagram account has been churning out photos and video recordings of student assassinations, each with its own witty caption. Following this outset, tensions have remained high, and people have been getting creative. Some students have resorted to using their siblings as bait, sending them out in disguise while the real target sneaks in our ot of an after-school club. Others have staged elaborate car-switching schemes with their friends to avoid their assassins after a shift at work. Some targets just don’t leave the house after 4 p.m.

Securing a legitimate kill requires a hefty amount of cunning. Many assassins have thwarted their own attacks by disclosing too much to their so-called allies, so be careful who you trust. Secrecy is key, especially since “the list,” a record of all known assassins and their targets, has been circulating recently (apparently the “snitches get stitches” rule doesn’t apply here). Many-a-senior has been eliminated after the making of some faulty promises. If your friend seems suspiciously eager to drive you to Panera for lunch, be warned, stay alert, or better yet, stay at school. Your life is not worth a bread bowl.

So, the Stop & Shop employees that eyed my nerf gun as I entered their store last week, please don’t mind my rush to check out. I take my survival very seriously. Seniors, it’s game on.

Niamh McCarthy is a senior at Wilton High School.

She shares this column with three classmates.